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Should Republicans agree to President Obama's demands and raise the debt ceiling without tying it to spending cuts?

  1. Yes
  2. No
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Jan-17-13 3:14 PM

The breakout of foreign-held debt shows that China was the largest holder, at $1.161 trillion (as of October 2012, most recent data). Japan came in second, at $1.134 trillion. The oil exporting countries have been increasing their holdings, and have edged up to become #3 at at $266 billion. The Caribbean Banking Centers have also increased their holdings in recent years, and are now fourth, holding $258 billion. The Bureau of International Settlements has stated that the Caribbean centers, Luxembourg (at $139 billion) and Belgium ($133 billion) are probably fronts for oil-exporting countries and hedge funds that don't want to reveal their positions. Brazil is the fifth largest holder, at $255 billion. The next largest holders are Taiwan, Switzerland, Russia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, holding between $117-$201 billion each. (Source: Foreign Holding of U.S. Treasury Securities, December 17 2012; U.S. Treasury report ”Petrodollars and Global Imbalances”, February 2006)

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Jan-17-13 3:13 PM

China has been decreased its holdings from $1.2565 trillion in the last year, perhaps out of concern that the U.S. will default on its debt. China wants to keep the value of the dollar high. This makes its own currency, the yuan, relatively cheaper by comparison. That helps China's exports to the U.S. seem more affordable, which helps its economy grow. That's why, despite China's occasional threats to sell its holdings, it's happy to be America's biggest banker, and largest owner of U.S. debt. Article updated January 8, 2013

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Jan-17-13 3:12 PM

China is the largest foreign owner of U.S. debt. However, the biggest single owner is ... you. Why? Because the single largest holder of national debt is the Social Security Trust Fund, aka your retirement money.

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Jan-16-13 7:23 PM

"...all of a sudden...revelation"

I think that could also be called a "Emperor Has No Clothes" moment.

Many now-adults are trying to say no to any kool-aid while thinking for themselves, because this government system, made up of Dems and Reps alike, is bankrupt and seems more than willing to bankrupt them as well.

Isn't it time for the revolution against "taxation with representation?"

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Jan-16-13 5:15 PM

Times/percentage the debt ceiling was raised by president: Reagan: 18 times/300%; HW Bush: 4 times/48%; Clinton: 4 times/44%; W: 7 times/90%; Obama: 3 times/26%. But now it's suddenly a problem? And I'm sure some of you will 'disagree' with this comment, but the numbers don't lie: Ceiling increased 49x under republicans and 29x under democrats

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Jan-16-13 11:57 AM

So then it must be that the Democrat mantra is to nationalize, or socialize, or centralize everything.

Does government handle business well? Examine Amtrak, Post Office, VA, etc. Are they run efficiently? If one thinks so, for how long has that been so? I'm not talking about the individuals that work in those endeavors. I'm talking about the system that should be held responsible for their success or failure, the government.

Government, being "non-profit" and all, doesn't have to possess the spirit necessary to make decisive cuts that would eventually help any of its "businesses" be profitable.

Our government doesn't have to report to shareholders. It just has to keep constituents happy. After all, it's only money, and more of that can be printed or minted any time...

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Jan-16-13 11:27 AM

One only has to look at how the Republicans have handled the Post Office to see what they are doing to the country. The post office was doing ok until the Repubs made them pay billions a year to fund the retirement out 75 years. No other organization has been required to do that. Why???? Well, look at what UPS and Fed Ex contribute to the political scene. It is the Republican mantra to privatize everything. Postal service will not exist and you will pay dearly for UPS to take care of your mail. Take off the retirement garbage and the post office becomes viable. More Republican trash and the country pays.

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Jan-16-13 11:22 AM

You can interpert this situation any way you want and follow the discussion of the Republican talking points. There are simple facts with this: The debts that are being discussed were authorized by the congress. They must be paid. The debt limit is not a tool to "hold hostage" the country to achieve your spending cuts. The damage from this type of activity is devastating to our credit rating, the stock market, and borrowing power. Last time,the Republicans only succeeded in making fools of themselves, lowering the US credit rating, and making the interest on the deficit higher. Boehnor and Obama had an agreement before that and it had income increases and budget cuts in the trillions. The arrogant tea party republicans wanted it all their way and turned it down. There has been no compromise from the Republicans for four years and it hurts the country.

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Jan-15-13 10:44 PM

"But, cutting spending now would hopefully stop the future need of raising the ceiling to pay for past(our current) spending."

Sorry, but disgusted doesn't need any extra credit. This comment meets the grade.

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Jan-15-13 10:43 PM

What? Homework again?

Is this for extra credit?

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Jan-15-13 6:25 PM

Debt ceiling and spending cuts are not tied together says centerfield. Technically, that may be correct. But, cutting spending now would hopefully stop the future need of raising the ceiling to pay for past(our current) spending.

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Jan-15-13 5:25 PM

If the President would like to "have a conversation" with Republicans, why are they always characterized by him as the troublemakers?

That would only be true if the President wasn't getting his way somehow. And he said the "election results" proved that his way should be the way things should be going.

This is Political Hardball, Semi-Finals to the championship. If the President has been intractable in negotiations, how else can Congress deal with him? BTW, not every Democrat has been in lockstep with every proposal of the President either.

It's all interesting political theater, but "working across the aisle" it ain't.

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Jan-15-13 5:22 PM

Pres. Obama cont...

"And despite that conversation, and despite the election results, the position that’s been taken, on the part of some House republicans, is that, “Nope, we gotta do it our way. And if we don’t, we simply won’t pay America’s bills.”

Pardon me, but I don't see the Republicans demanding the "ransom" as the President used the term.

What it looks like to me is that the President wants to hold Congress hostage, to his agenda, by saying that they "don't want to pay bills" and they want to damage the economy.

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Jan-15-13 5:20 PM

Pres. Obama cont..

"And, you know, the fact of the matter is, is that we have never seen the debt ceiling used in this fashion, where the notion was, you know what, we might default unless we get 100 percent of what we want. That hasn’t happened.

"If we want to have a conversation about how to reduce our deficit, let’s have that. We’ve been having that for the last two years. We just had an entire campaign about it. And by the way, the American people agreed with me, that we should reduce our deficits in a balanced way, that also takes into account the need for us to grow this economy, and put people back to work."

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Jan-15-13 5:18 PM

Pres. Obama: "Well, no, Major. I think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult and budgets in this town are always difficult. I went through this just last year. But what’s different is we never saw a situation as we saw last year in which certain groups in Congress took such an absolutist position that we came within a few days of defaulting."

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Jan-15-13 5:15 PM

"...finding votes for the debt ceiling can sometimes be complicated. You yourselves as a member of the Senate voted against a debt ceiling increase. And in previous aspects of American history, President Reagan in 1985, President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990, President Clinton in 1997 all signed deficit reduction deals that were contingent upon or in the context of raising the debt ceiling. You yourself four times have done that; three times those were related to deficit reduction or budget maneuvers.

"What Chuck (Todd) and I and I think many people are curious about is this new adamant desire on your part not to negotiate when that seems to conflict with the entire history in the modern era of American presidents in the debt ceiling and your own history on the debt ceiling. And doesn’t that suggest that we are going to go into a default situation, because no one is talking to each other about how to resolve this?"

Major Garrett, asking the President his questio

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Jan-15-13 5:07 PM

Some quotes from Pres. Obama's press conference:

"They (Republicans in Congress) can act responsibly, and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy."

What is this ransom??

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Jan-15-13 4:05 PM

Part of Congress's exercise of legislative authority is the establishment of an annual budget for the government. To this end, Congress levies taxes and tariffs to provide funding for essential government services. If enough money cannot be raised to fund the government, then Congress may also authorize borrowing to make up the difference. Congress can also mandate spending on specific items: legislatively directed spending, commonly known as "earmarks," specifies funds for a particular project, rather than for a government agency.

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Jan-15-13 4:04 PM

Congress also maintains an investigative organization, the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Founded in 1921 as the General Accounting Office, its original mission was to audit the budgets and financial statements sent to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Today, the GAO audits and generates reports on every aspect of the government, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent with the effectiveness and efficiency that the American people deserve.

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Jan-15-13 12:17 PM

First of all, the language of the question is dubious at best. The debt ceiling and spending cuts are not tied together. The debt ceiling is for money that is already spent. Spending bills originate in the House and are passed in the Senate before they get to the President. The house spends money but does not want to pay for it? Typical Right wing nonsense.

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Jan-15-13 9:18 AM

The republicans have lost the battle and the war so we don't need them to destroy the republic too! :-)

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Jan-15-13 8:26 AM

No and*****NO, Let the Government shut down for a couple of weeks.

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